The plants of the genus Hemerocallis are called daylilies because each bloom lives for only a day, then withers and dies, to be replaced with another bloom the next day until season’s end. They are not really lilies at all, and prefer much different climates — hotter and drier ones, for example — than their namesake. The hallmark of daylilies is adaptability. Most gardeners find them one of the easiest of all perennials to grow.
But while daylilies may be easy to grow, they pose a challenge for breeders. Certain bloom colors, such as blue, are nearly impossible to attain, and therefore daylily breeding is often concentrated on trying to make a truly pure blue hybrid. (Sort of like the quest to breed a true red Iris.)
But while blue may not have been achieved in daylily breeding, many other variations certainly have: you can find daylilies in a huge range of sizes, colors, forms, and looks. Pie-crusted petal edges, mini plants, double blooms, “eye-zoned” varieties — they are all waiting for the daylily lover who wants to look far, far beyond the ever-popular Stella de Oro!
While you will probably content yourself with growing daylilies, many people in other parts of the world eat them! The edible flowers are sold in open markets in Asia, and can be eaten as a snack or used in soups and other dishes.
Have fun adding a new daylily or two every season to your sunny perennial garden. They are truly carefree, and will bring beauty and delight to your summer garden. You can also divide the plants every few years. Share new offshoots with friends — or expand your own daylily gardens!